Israel Day 19 by Maia Coen

For our last day in Israel we took a trip to the Mount where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and wandered around enjoying the scenery.  Our second stop, and personally my favorite of the day, was Acre.  Here we visited the crusader fort and tunnels.  Underneath the Acre are old crusader tunnels that were discovered and are now a popular tourist destination.  The fort had information about the crusades and games that were played during that time.  It was quite fun.  When we exited the tunnels we came out upon the harbor.  The view was just beautiful.  The water was that entrancing blue I remembered from Greece so fondly.   The sun was shining and my face felt warm. Apart from a brief stop at the bahai garden that was it for the day’s activities.  We wanted to get back to the hotel in time for everyone to have some down time before the last dinner.   When we reached Tel Aviv Kay (My swimming buddy) and I ventured down to the beach for some swim time before dinner.  I got all packed up and was ready to go.  For dinner we went to a place called Dr. Shakshuka.  The food was delicious but it was bittersweet since I had to leave right afterwards. 

This trip has been everything I ever hoped it would and more.  I’ve seen the pyramids of Giza, ridden a camel, been blown away by Abu Simbel, seen Petra, and gotten to meet two lovely Palestinian girls since I’ve been away.  The people have been kind and welcoming on all fronts and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Egypt’s sights were breathtaking, Jordan’s natural figures were beautiful, and Israel’s culture and people were welcoming and intriguing.

I’m home now and I think back on everything we did and I couldn’t be happier.  I don’t regret anything and I’m so happy that my father and everyone else who came on the trip were able to say they weren’t afraid and go to the Middle East.  If we let them make us afraid then they win.  Everyone who went on these tours and helped to put them together are not letting them win.  I didn’t let them win.  That feels good.

You didn’t think I’d end my blogging without one more inconvenient travel story did you?  Of course not.  My journey through the Israeli airport was less than simple.  First I was stopped at a passport check before getting to the checked bag area where I was questioned for quite a lengthy amount of time.  They asked about where I had been, why I was alone, who I had been with, did I know anyone in these places, why is my last name Coen, why is my middle name Rasmussen.  You know, standard stuff.  So I answered there questions not once, not twice, but three times for multiple security officials before they finally let me through.  I checked my bag and then they preceded to send me to a high risk security check.  Fun.  It took me way too long to get through and they took my whole day bag apart.  Thank goodness it was small, it would have taken a lot longer if I still had my suitcase.  Once through that I was finally free.  I made it to the gate without trouble and made my way home. 

I’ve come to the end of my blogging for this trip.  I won’t say I’m not relieved to have a break from writing every day but I’m sure I’ll miss it.  It’s been fun.  Until next time.